2020 Kia Niro

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2020 Kia Niro Review: The Anti-Prius

The 2020 Kia Niro is an in-between hybrid car, straddling the line between 4-door hatchback and compact crossover. On sale in the US since the 2017 model year in its first generation, this hybrid crossover utilizes a 1.56 kWh battery and electric motor to supplement a 1.6-liter gasoline 4-cylinder engine. System outputs are 139 horsepower, sent to a front-wheel drive system via a 6-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox, but the headline is a 50 mpg gas mileage rating that puts it firmly in the same ballpark as rivals like the Toyota Prius and Hyundai Ioniq. Combining Kia's typical style with the practicality and popularity of a crossover seems like a surefire winner. The reality, however, is a middling drive that will only appeal to those who view a vehicle as nothing more than an appliance and value world-beating gas mileage.

Read in this review:

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2020 Kia Niro Changes: What’s The Difference vs The 2019 Kia Niro?

For its mid-cycle refresh in the US, the 2020 Kia Niro hybrid receives a myriad of enhancements and alterations as well as a reshuffling of trim levels. Cosmetic updates for the new model year include a new diamond-patterned grille, new headlights with new LED daytime running lights in a double-chevron arrangement, a wider, more pronounced rear faux skid plate, redesigned taillights, and new 16- and 18-inch wheel designs. There's also a new instrument panel featuring a seven-inch digital gauge cluster that has been updated with improved drive-mode graphics, an eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system has been made standard and a 10.25-inch unit optional. Also newly optional are steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters that offer a sportier driving experience and improved active regenerative braking control, there's an electronic parking brake available, too, as well as in-cabin mood lighting with six different colors. Some trim-specific changes include forward-collision avoidance, blind-spot warning, and lane-keep assist on the new LXS trim, a standard sunroof on the Touring, and synthetic leather seats with the larger infotainment display on the top-end EX Premium.

Pros and Cons

  • Attractive exterior styling
  • Modern, easy-to-use infotainment
  • Spacious and well-finished cabin
  • Impressive practicality and cargo space
  • Superb fuel economy
  • Very good safety rating
  • Excellent expected reliability
  • Ride and handling are middling
  • Short on power and performance
  • No all-wheel drive available
  • Powertrain refinement lacking

Best Deals on 2020 Kia Niro

2020 Kia Niro Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
1.6L Inline-4 Hybrid
6-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
1.6L Inline-4 Hybrid
6-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
1.6L Inline-4 Hybrid
6-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
Plug-In Hybrid LXS
1.6L Inline-4 Plug-in Hybrid
6-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
Touring SE
1.6L Inline-4 Hybrid
6-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
See All 2020 Kia Niro Trims and Specs

2020 Niro Exterior

2020 Kia Niro Front View Kia
2020 Kia Niro Rear View Kia
2020 Kia Niro Front-End View Kia
See All 2020 Kia Niro Exterior Photos


  • Length 171.5 in
  • Wheelbase 106.3 in
  • Height 60.4 in
  • Max Width 71.1 in
  • Front Width 61.6 in
  • Rear Width 62.2 in

Exterior Colors

  • Runway Red +$295
  • Aurora Black Pearl +$395
  • Snow White Pearl +$395
  • Deep Cerulean
  • Silky Silver
  • Platinum Graphite
  • Horizon Blue
  • Horizon Blue, Build Out: 04/24/2020
  • Solar Orange

2020 Niro Performance

2020 Kia Niro Front Angle View Kia
2020 Kia Niro Rear Angle View Kia
2020 Kia Niro Dashboard Kia

Engine and Transmission

  • Engines
    1.6L Inline-4 Hybrid, 1.6L Inline-4 Plug-in Hybrid
  • Transmission
    6-Speed Automatic
  • Drivetrain

2020 Niro Interior

2020 Kia Niro Interior Overview Kia
2020 Kia Niro Climate Control Kia
2020 Kia Niro Charging Point Kia
See All 2020 Kia Niro Interior Photos

Seating and Interior Space

  • Seating capacity
  • Front Leg Room 41.7 in
  • Front Head Room 40.1 in
  • Rear Leg Room 37.4 in
  • Rear Head Room 39.1 in

2020 Niro Trunk and Cargo Space

2020 Kia Niro Maximum Trunk Space Kia
2020 Kia Niro Trunk Floor Storage Kia
2020 Kia Niro Trunk Space Kia

2020 Niro Safety and Reliability


  • Basic:
    5 Years \ 60,000 Miles
  • Drivetrain:
    10 Years \ 100,000 Miles
  • Corrosion:
    5 Years \ 100,000 Miles
  • Hybrid/Electric Components:
    10 Years \ 100,000 Miles
  • Roadside Assistance:
    5 Years \ 60,000 Miles

US NHTSA Crash Test Result

  • Overall Rating
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
  • Side Crash Rating
  • Rollover Rating

Verdict: Is the 2020 Kia Niro A Good crossover?

If you want a high-riding hatchback with an extremely efficient powertrain, the 2020 Niro hybrid CUV fits the bill perfectly. It's a seriously attractive offering in its class and the things it's good at, it does very well. Among these are the excellent infotainment system, its top warranty cover, and its exemplary efficiency. However, these good traits struggle to paper over some of its most obvious flaws, the most notable being that you can't have AWD and it has no rated towing capacity. If these aren't deal-breakers, you'd still be a little put out that Kia couldn't get the ride/handling balance quite right. To add insult to injury, performance is middling at best and the typical dual-clutch pull-away lag and its occasional indecisiveness detracts from the experience. If you can live with the flaws, it's a very attractive and well-equipped compact crossover-cum-hatchback.

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